When you move into a new apartment or house and start hearing loud noises, or dealing with other annoying behaviors from your neighbors it’s easy to get upset, quickly. It’s happened to me before. Over the years though I’ve learned that most people will work with you, if you approach the problem in a mature way.
Most recently, my neighbor in a duplex was playing music extremely loudly during the afternoons, for about two hours. It was the middle of the day, so I knew there was no noise ordinance. However, it was so loud that even at the far end of the house, I could hear every word of the music they were playing. I thought they were inconsiderate jerks, and we would be stuck dealing with this. Honestly, my reaction was that they must realize how loud and obnoxious they were being, so they must not care.
However, my boyfriend decided to just try to talk to them. He started off the conversation by saying “I know we are neighbors and share a wall, so we’re going to hear each other a little bit. But I work at home during the day, and your music has been pretty distracting. I tried moving to another room, but it was still very loud. So he asked if he would please turn the volume level down.
The neighbors response was simply to apologize and to say he would watch the volume level. We haven’t had a problem with his radio since. During that same conversation Ryan also asked them to please let us know if they overhear us too much, or if they have any problems. His hope with adding this was to keep our relationship friendly. To awknowledge that our life might impact theirs, too!
Then they got a job working nights, which left their dog alone at night. He howls for hours on end, and again it was very loud. We would try watching TV and could hear the dog over our TV. A family member suggested that we ask them to boy a shock collar. I’ve heard how damaging they can be to dogs, so I hated the idea of one being used on their dog who is very sweet – but just has separation anxiety. We tried to just cope with the noise, but it was preventing us from sleeping at night.
Ryan thought of something to suggest to them. He told them about the noise problem and asked if they would consider kenneling the dog in the far end of their side of the house when they left. We still hear him howl a few times but it’s much, much quieter when he is locked in a room farther from our shared wall. Plus, he only howls a couple times when they leave and then he stops. This makes me wonder if maybe the reason he kept howling for hours before was because he was hearing noise from our apartment, where on the other end of the house he hears nothing so he calms down.
This just happened, but the next time we are at the store we are going to pick up cookies or some sort of treat for our neighbors to thank them for addressing both problems on our behalf.
So to recap, my advice for dealing with neighbors in apartment complexes is:
1. Talk about the problem in an empathetic and calm way.
2. Suggest a specific solution if possible.
3. Let them know you want to help solve any problems you may be causing them.
4. Say thank you once the problem is solved, whether through words, a note or a small gift.
5. Try to make friends with your neighbors. If they come to know you as a person, it’s more natural to talk to them in general which makes dealing with problems more comfortable too.
Have you had a loud neighbor in an apartment before? Were you able to resolve the problem peacefully? Share your advice for dealing with loud or noisy neighbors in the comments!